Dragon-breath and snow-melt: Know-how, experience and heat flows in the home

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Contributed date

December 30, 2020 - 10:46am

Critical Commentary

The energy ecologies reading group will include this article in our January 7th meeting on energy literacy. 

Abstract: "People manage heat flows in their homes through diverse skilful engagements, including interactions with a wide range of materials that help to generate heat, move it around, or prevent its movement. Using these strategies, we try to ensure that heat is where it is needed, when it is needed, and can also try to minimise its wastage (heat-out-of place and heat-out-of-time). However, the practical knowledge or know-how used in managing these thermal flows has received little attention to date, despite its relevance to topical debates on energy consumption. This paper explores how experience-based know-how is used in monitoring and managing heat flows in the home. I also consider three processes that stimulate the development of new know-how: changes in the life-course, in material arrangements, and in shared understandings. These themes are illustrated using quotes from various sources, such as web forums and advice sites. Finally, I consider how these ideas relate to wider theories of experience and know-how, and offer some reflections on what this approach might mean for research, policy and practice on sustainable energy use."


Royston, Sarah. "Dragon-breath and snow-melt: Know-how, experience and heat flows in the home." Energy Research & Social Science 2 (2014): 148-158.

Cite as

Anonymous, "Dragon-breath and snow-melt: Know-how, experience and heat flows in the home", contributed by Alison Kenner, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 30 December 2020, accessed 19 April 2024. https://energyrights.info/content/dragon-breath-and-snow-melt-know-how-experience-and-heat-flows-home